Glossary of Terminology

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  • Abduction with intent of rescue
    Any animal that is brought for rehabilitation with the intent of rescue, that has been removed from its natural habitat without warrant due to either i) perceived risk to the animal by the rescuer, ii) disregard or ignorance of the animal's natural history, or iii) when no attempt or an inappropriate attempt has been made to reunite a young animal with its parents. This term replaces the traditional kidnapped and generally takes place within 48 hours of the rescue
  • Abnormal behavior
    Any behavior considered uncharacteristic for that species with consideration to internal factors (health status, normal physiology, etc.) and external factors (season, environmental conditions, etc.)
  • Algal bloom toxicity
    Pertaining to toxins released from cyanobacteria that may cause sudden death due to neurotoxins or severe liver damage due to hepatotoxins.
  • Animal Interaction
    Contact with an unidentified animal that leads directly or indirectly to the wildlife patient being admitted to a rehabilitation facility.
  • Autoimmune / allergy / immune-mediated
    A disease state that is characterized by an immune response (either antibody or cell-mediated) against the body’s own tissues (autoimmune) or a reaction following second or subsequent exposure to a substance (allergen) causing an allergic reaction (allergy or immune-mediated response). Examples may include bee stings, pollen reactions, molds, certain drugs, etc.
  • Bacterial infection
    Diseases in which bacteria play a significant but not necessarily an exclusive role.
  • Benign tumor
    Any tumor whose typical presentation includes slow growth, rare or no metastasis, and is usually non-reoccurring after removal.
  • Bicycle collision
    Impact with self-propelled vehicles including bicycles, scooters, etc.
  • Born in captivity
    Any animal being born/hatched in captivity as a result of natural or assisted incubation/birth.
  • Botanicals
    Presence of botanicals, such as tree sap, burrs or other natural plant products on the animal or in some other way contributing to its capture. May be used with Entrapment
  • Botulism toxicity
    A toxemia caused by the ingestion of the toxin of Clostridium botulinum. Often known as “limberneck” in effected waterfowl.
  • Bow and arrow
    An injury caused by a sharp-pointed shaft (arrow or bolt) that is projected by the elastic force from a bow or the spring-loaded force from a crossbow.
  • Burns
    Damage to tissues caused by contact with dry heat (fire), moist heat (steam or liquid), chemicals, electricity, or lightning.
  • Cat interaction
    Any direct or indirect interaction or injury caused by a domesticated cat May be feral.
  • Categorization of Clinical Signs
    The cause of the abnormal physical exam findings (Clinical Classifications).
  • Circumstances of Admission
    Any and all reasons the animal was brought in. In WRMD, this is a combination of a patient's Common Name, Reasons for Admission, Care by Rescuer and Notes About Rescue. Some are known by the finder on admission (ie cat brought it to owner = Cat Interaction) and some are discovered after exam/diagnostics at the rehabilitation center (ie projectiles seen on radiographs = Gunshot). All options have an "confirmed" vs "suspected" option as some circumstances are observed (ie finder actually saw the animal get hit by car) and some are assumed (ie finder found animal on the road).
  • City Found
    The city or municipality the patient was found in.
  • Clinical Classifications
    The physical exam findings by body system.
  • Clinically healthy
    No abnormalities/clinical signs on physical examination.
  • Collision
    Injury resulting from an impact with either a stationary or a moving object.
  • Confiscation
    A patient admitted for rehabilitation that has either been legally seized by an authorized person, organization or agency or is rescued by a Good Samaritan from another person due to perceived abuse.
  • Cooking oil exposure
    Exposure to a plant, animal or synthetic oil that may be used for cooking.
  • Date Found
    The date a patient was first found in the wild.
  • Degenerative
    Pertaining to the deterioration of a healthy tissue to an unhealthy state without the influence of other factors such as an inflammatory agent, infection, traumatic injury, etc.  This pathology is most often caused by repetitive use, aging, or genetic predisposition. Disease examples may include degenerative joint disease and arthritis.
  • Dermatologic disease
    Conditions affecting the skin, fur, and feathers. 
  • Developmental / congenital / inherited
    Pertaining to the absence, deformity or excess of body parts as a result of faulty development of the embryo (developmental),  abnormalities in structure or function which are present at birth and may or may not be inherited (congenital), or conditions caused by genes which condition the structure or function of an organ or tissue (inherited). Developmental and congenital diseases may or may not be associated with inherited defects.
  • Displaced from nest
    A nestling animal found out of its nest.
  • Disturbed Metabolic Rest
    An animal whose hibernation, brumation, estivation or torpor is disturbed.
  • Dog interaction
    Any direct or indirect interaction or injury caused by a domesticated dog. May be feral.
  • Domestic Animal
    Contact with an domestic animal that leads directly or indirectly to the wildlife patient being admitted to a rehabilitation facility.
  • Domestic Animal Interaction
    A form of animal interaction where wildlife had either direct or indirect contact with one or more of a variety of animals that have been tamed and made fit for a human environment. This term includes animals that were domesticated as a species but may now be feral.
  • Dumped
    An animal captured and abandoned in an enclosure. Ex: found in hospital night drop, found in box on side of road, etc.
  • Electrocution
    Injuries resulting from contact with more than one wire or a wire and a grounding object resulting in clinical signs associated with electrocution.
  • Entrapment
    A confining circumstance from which escape is difficult. Entrapment may occur from devices meant to capture animals, from devices or objects whose primary function is something other than to capture animals, or from spaces where the animal's body is free to move yet full escape to a natural setting is being impaired. When questioning which subcategory to use, the user should first define the intended purpose of the entrapping object or circumstance.
  • Entrapped in building
    Entrapment within a building or room within a building
  • Entrapped in chimney
    Entrapment within or through a chimney.
  • Entrapped in fence
    Entrapment in any material used to prevent the movement of animals or humans either into or out of an area. Common examples include barbed wire, snow fencing, chain-linked fence, etc.
  • Entrapped in fishing tackle
    Any fishing gear that traps or restricts the movement of an animal and was intended to capture fish. ex: hook, line, net
  • Entrapped in litter / garbage
    Entrapment in a trash receptacle or dumpster. Also includes entrapment in any waste material that has been carelessly left in the environment. Common examples include plastic wrappers or packaging, cans, bottles, string or rope (NOT INCLUDING fishing line or nets)
  • Entrapped in netting / string / wire
    Any net or mesh-like material used in a variety of day-to-day functions but NOT intended to capture animals. Examples include garden/landscape netting, netting found in sports activities such as soccer and basketball, etc.
  • Entrapped in storm drain / sewer
    Entrapment in or through a storm drain or sewer.
  • Entrapped in vehicle
    Entrapment within or on a vehicle meant for human transportation. Examples include animals trapped within the wheel well of a plane, nests with young animals built under car bumpers, animals trapped within the bilge water on boats, etc.
  • Entrapped in water
    Entrapment within any kind of body of water such as a swimming pool, fountain, lake, etc.
  • Envenomation
    The poisonous effects caused by bites or stings of insects/arthropods or the bites of snakes.
  • Environmental hazard
    Conditions caused by environmental factors that lead directly or indirectly to the animal being found and admitted for rehabilitation.
  • External parasites
    Infestation with any one of a number of parasites that use the outer surface of the body to complete part of its life cycle. External parasites may infect the animal’s skin, feathers, fur, or surface of the respiratory tract.
  • Fire / Smoke
    Injuries sustained from exposure to flames. Examples include: forest fires and grass fires, campfires, structural fires or a direct exposure to smoke resulting from a fire.
  • Foreign substance
    External contamination with a chemical or material that may or may not be irritating but usually results in diminished or loss of function. This may include glue traps, oil on the fur or feathers, non-water proofed feathers, etc.
  • Friendly
    Wildlife whose behavior is inappropriate such as habituated, imprinted or unnaturally friendly.
  • Fungal infection
    Diseases in which fungi play a significant but not necessarily an exclusive role.
  • Garden / farm equipment collision
    Impact with a variety of farm equipment including tractors, mowers, ploughs, harrows, balers, weed-eaters, lawnmowers, rototillers, etc.
  • Gas flare
    Exposure to a gas flare associated with methane burners, refineries, oil and gas rig, etc.
  • Gastrointestinal disease
    Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, namely the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum, and the accessory organs of digestion, the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.
  • Grease exposure
    Exposure to grease
  • Grounded
    A flighted animal found on the ground for unknown reasons that is unable to fly away.
  • Gunshot
    A wound or injury caused by any projectile discharged from a firearm or similar device.
  • Habituation
    Condition in which an animal has a diminished physiological and/or behavioral response to the presence of humans.
  • Hand held object collision
    Collision with a moving object handled by a human either accidentally or with the intent of impact. The colliding object must not be thrown or it becomes a projectile. Examples: shovel used to hit a snake, tennis racket used to strike a bat, etc.
  • Heavy metal toxicity
    Toxicity caused by a number of metals known to impact the health of living beings. These metals typically include lead, mercury, silver, zinc, copper, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, tin, nickel, thallium, manganese, and iron.
  • Hematologic disease
    Conditions affecting the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, blood vessels, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and the proteins involved in bleeding and clotting.
  • Hydrocarbon toxicity
    Toxicity from a compound that only contains hydrogen and carbon as a result of internalization. Typical compounds include products derived from crude oil such as gasoline, motor oil, natural gas, etc.
  • Iatrogenic
    Any adverse condition in a patient resulting from treatment by a medical professional or person responsible for the animal’s wellbeing.
  • Idiopathic
    Pertaining to a disease or illness of unknown cause despite thorough testing. This may also apply to diseases for which there is currently no test.
  • Illness
    An animal with obvious signs of sickness.
  • Imprint
    Condition in very young animals when parental attachment and learned basic behavioral patterns are incorrectly established on a human, other life form, or object rather than a member of its own species.
  • Inappropriate diet
    Injuries or illness resulting from an unsuitable diet for that species. This may lead to related issues such as food allergies, gastrointestinal illness, or metabolic deficiencies.
  • Inappropriate human intervention
    A circumstance where an animal of any age is inappropriately removed from its natural habitat and is in human possession due to either i) perceived risk by the rescuer, ii) to be kept as a pet, iii) to be treated for injuries by a person lacking appropriate training, authorization, or assistance, or iv) being considered a nuisance animal.
  • Infectious
    Pertaining to invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in the body tissues often resulting in cellular injury due to the pathogen’s competitive metabolism within the body, production of harmful toxins, replication within host cells, or through damage by the host’s own immune response.
  • Inflammatory
    Pertaining to a localized protective response from the body brought on by injury or destruction of tissues which serves to destroy, dilute or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue. Classic signs of inflammation include heat, redness, swelling, pain, and loss of function.
  • Internal parasites
    Infestation with any one of a number of parasites that require an internal body compartment to complete its life cycle.
  • Ischemia
    Deficiency of blood supply to some part of the body due to physical constriction or obstruction of blood vessels.
  • Maladaptation / Failure to thrive
    Pertaining to any animal that has not acquired the necessary skills in order to function within the environment in a species appropriate manner. Initial assessment of this condition may depend on the rescuer's biological knowledge/experience of/with the animal. This term typically applies to animals that have not learned the necessary skills to hunt or forage (first year juvenile raptors), build or seek appropriate shelter, or interact with their environment in a manner that considered normal for that species.
  • Malignant tumor
    Any tumor whose typical presentation includes irreversible loss of differentiation in adult cell types and a fast and invasive growth rate with the potential to spread to other tissue types in the body
  • Mating injury
    Injury sustained from courtship and mating rituals. ex: duck rape, raptor death spiral
  • Metabolic
    A disease in which normal metabolic processes are disturbed and a resulting absence or shortfall or a normal metabolite (substance produced during metabolism) causes disease. Examples may include diabetes, hormone imbalance, enzyme deficiency, etc. 
  • Moving object collision
    Collision with an object that is in motion such as a vehicle or an object being swung purposefully or accidentally at the animal.
  • Neoplastic / tumor
    Any new and abnormal growth where the cell multiplication is uncontrolled and progressive.
  • Nest / Habitat disturbance or destruction
    The destruction or disturbance of a nest, burrow, or essential habitat resulting in the animal being injured or displaced.
  • Neurologic disease
    Conditions affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems.
  • Non-domestic animal interaction
    Contact with other wildlife that leads directly or indirectly to the wildlife patient being admitted to a rehabilitation facility.
  • Non-trap entrapment
    A confining object, device or circumstance whose primary function is something other than the capture/restraint of animals.
  • Non-weapon projectile
    Any projectile causing injury to an animal that originates from an instrument, structure, environment or being whose primary design OR intention is not weapons related. Examples may include baseballs, javelin, objects falling from buildings, etc.
  • Nonspecific
    Not assignable to a particular category or classification. 
  • Nuisance animal
    Any animal removed from a property because it is considered destructive or menacing. The primary goal of the person admitting the animal is removal, not rescue.
  • Nutritional
    Pertaining to any disease or injury resulting from an alteration in the processes involved in taking nutrients into the body and assimilating and utilizing them or from deficiencies or excesses of specific feed nutrients.
  • Nutritional disease
    Pertaining to any disease resulting from an alteration in the processes involved in taking nutrients into the body and assimilating and utilizing them or from deficiencies or excesses of specific feed nutrients.
  • Obesity
    An excessive accumulation of fat in the body considered “normal” for that species under present conditions.
  • Ocular disease
    Conditions affecting any of the eye components such as cornea, iris, pupil, optic nerve, lens, retina, macula, choroid, conjunctiva or the vitreous. 
  • Orphan
    Any circumstance in which displaced healthy or injured young animals, still dependant on parental care for survival, are found and there is a high probability that the parents are dead or not available. This may include situations where the parents have rejected the young, are known or suspected to be deceased, have not returned to the young after a significant amount of time or when attempts to unite the young with parents have failed.
  • Paint exposure
    Exposure to paint products
  • Parasitic infection
    Diseases in which parasites play a significant but not necessarily an exclusive role.
  • Pet
    Any animal inappropriately removed from its natural habitat and kept and cared for by a human as a pet. These animals are often surrendered when they become a burden or are confiscated by authorities.
  • Petrochemical exposure
    Exposure to a petroleum or natural gas such as motor oil, liquid gas, diesel fuel, kerosene, heating oil, etc.
  • Physical injury
    Injury caused by trauma from an external force (mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical) 
  • Physical injury
    An injury caused by i) trauma from an external force, ii) pressure or rubbing, iii) any kind of burn, or iv) exposure to a foreign substance.
  • Physical trauma
    An animal with obvious physical injuries caused by unknown reasons.
  • Plane collision
    Impact with any part of a moving plane.
  • Poisoned
    Wildlife that ingests or absorbs an unnatural manufactured substance such pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, etc.
  • Powerline / wire collision
    Collision with a suspended form of electrical or communication line that results in physical damage but NOT entrapment.
  • Prion infection
    Diseases in which prions play a significant but not necessarily an exclusive role.
  • Projectile
    Any object propelled by a force through the air or water that eventually comes to rest.
  • Radiation
    An injury caused by high-energy radiation such as x-rays and gamma-rays.
  • Reasons for Admission
    Why the patient was captured and brought into the hospital. (ex: caught by cat) (not: broken wing)
  • Referral / Transfer
    Any patient being transferred from one rehabilitation facility to another for the purpose of further rehabilitation or medical work-up.
  • Respiratory disease
    Conditions affecting the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible and includes conditions of the upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, pleura, and pleural cavity.
  • Rodenticide toxicity
    Pertaining to any pest control chemical destructive to rodents. These typically include anticoagulants (warfarin, brodifacoum, difethialone, etc.), metal phosphides (zinc phosphide), chemicals causing hypercalcemia (cholecalciferol) and other poisons such as “1080”, strychnine, and white phosphorus.
  • Same species interaction
    Wildlife injury caused by a non-domesticated animal of the same species.
  • Solar panel collision
    Collision with a solar panel or related equipment.
  • Spaces entrapment
    Entrapment in a defined area where the body is free to move clear of restrictions however, escape away from the enclosed area is difficult.
  • Starvation
    A severe deficiency in caloric energy intake, below the level needed to maintain life.
  • Stationary object collision
    Collision with an object that is stationary that may be either manmade or a natural feature. The stationary object may have moving parts such as a windmill or hydro dam.
  • Stranded
    Referring to events other than weather leading to single or multiple animals cut off from their natural habitat and cannot be returned unassisted. Often caused by altered behavior such as marine mammal stranding.
  • Surrender
    An animal give up or handed over for rehabilitation. Often a wild animal kept as a pet.
  • Tar exposure
    Exposure to tar
  • Toxic exposure
    Wildlife that is exposed to natural substances that cause illness or disease such as lead, domoic acid from harmful algal blooms or botulism.
  • Toxicity
    The characteristic or quality of being poisonous
  • Train collision
    Impact with any part of a moving train.
  • Trap entrapment
    A confining object, device or circumstance whose primary function is to capture animals. Traps capturing animals other than the intended species of interest are included (by-catch).
  • Trapped in glue trap
    Trapped in a natural or synthetic adhesive applied to cardboard or similar material and used for the intended capture of wildlife.
  • Trapped in humane / cage trap
    Trapped in a cage that is designed to capture live animals.
  • Trapped in leghold / Trap / Snare
    Trapped in a device often used by wild game trappers that are intended for the harvest of fur-bearing animals. These devices include leg hold traps, conibear traps, pitfall traps, deadfall traps, snares, etc.
  • Trauma
    Pertaining to a wound or injury, usually caused by an external force that  may occur anywhere on the body.
  • Tree trimming
    Destruction or removal of vegetation resulting in an animal being injured or displaced.
  • Unauthorized or Untrained Rehabilitation
    Any animal removed from its natural habitat and kept and treated by a person lacking appropriate training, authorization, or assistance without seeking formal rehabilitation aid and with the intent of release.
  • Undetermined
    Any unknown event whose origin is not specifically known or has not yet been decided. Also includes indeterminate causes where the circumstances may never be known. Pertaining to a disease or illness whose identity is unknown due to either lack of testing or inability to test.
  • Urogenital disease
    Conditions affecting the urinary tract and reproductive system.
  • Vehicle collision
    Impact with any part of a moving car, truck, motorcycle, all terrain vehicle, snow-machine, etc.
  • Viral infection
    Diseases in which viruses play a significant but not necessarily an exclusive role.
  • Watercraft collision
    Impact with a type of a moving watercraft such as a boat, jet ski, ferry, etc.
  • Weather event
    Extreme changes in the weather leading directly or indirectly to an animal being injured or displaced.
  • Wind turbine collision
    Collision with the stationary pole or the moving blades of a wind turbine. Also includes damage caused by the negative pressure associated with the blades as is often found in wind turbine/bat interactions.
  • Window / Wall collision
    Collision with a building, wall, window, etc.